On Tuesday, October 26, the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Congress held a hearing titled, “Caring for America: Legislation to Support Patients, Caregivers, and Providers.”
Seven bills were “heard” as part of this hearing including the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act (H.R. 3320). The Academy strongly supports this legislation and has worked collaboratively with other allied health-related associations representing the additional provider types to lobby for and secure congressional support for this legislation.
This legislation provides $5 million per year in grants and stipends for students of racial or ethnic minorities, disadvantaged backgrounds, or with disabilities, in programs preparing audiologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, and respiratory therapists. ACAE-accredited audiology programs are specifically recognized, and the Academy is listed as an organization that would provide input into the disbursement of funds.
This legislation is critical in light of the fact that the population of people treated by audiologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists (SLPs), and respiratory therapists is far more diverse than the professionals treating them.
In addition, a recent Institutes of Medicine report found that patients who receive treatment from professionals of similar ethnic background often trust their therapists more and are more likely to follow through on their treatment.
A growing body of evidence demonstrates the connection between health outcomes to income, education, nutrition, housing, environmental exposures, and other social circumstances. Similarly, studies have shown that interventions addressing SDOH can improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs. In response, the Biden-Harris Administration has released a playbook outlining new or strengthened initiatives that agencies…
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) posted on October 25, 2023 Advisory Opinion No. 23-08, in which OIG rejected a proposed arrangement from a cochlear implant device manufacturer (the requestor) that would provide a free hearing aid to certain qualified patients who received a cochlear implant. OIG concluded the…
Representatives Bilirakis and Cartwright Introduce the Medicare Audiology Access Improvement Act of 2023 (H.R. 6445)
On November 17, 2023, Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) introduced the Medicare Audiology Access improvement Act (H.R. 6445). This legislation is also co-sponsored by Representatives Johnson (R-OH), Shakowsky (D-IL), Mace (R-SC), Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Trone (D-MD), Webster (R-FL), Cohen (D-TN), LaMalfa (R-CA), Grijalva (D-AZ), Foster (D-IL) and Pocan (D-WI). Senators Elizabeth…